Data News Staff Edited Report
The fight against COVID-19 is not over. Last week officials with the Precision Medicine Lab at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine have identified the first Delta variant COVID case in Louisiana Region 1. This includes the New Orleans metropolitan area.
Alongside Ochsner, the Louisiana Department of Health, and BIA, LSUHNO authorities are investigating samples collected by Ochsner to identify variants circulating in Louisiana. About a dozen cases from the Delta variant have been identified statewide with many more presumptive cases.
The CDC estimates that this variant is responsible for about 25% of cases in U.S. Region 6, which includes Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.
The variant was recently identified as a Variant of Concern by the CDC, which indicates several factors:
- Evidence of an increase of transmissibility
- More severe disease (i.e., increased hospitalizations or deaths)
- Significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or through a vaccine
- Diagnostic detection failures
LSUHNO also reports that a study concluded the effectiveness of both Pfizer vaccine doses in preventing disease caused by the Delta variant was 88%. One dose was 33% effective.
In New Orleans and across the state, it is important for citizens to get vaccinated to fight COVID-19 and new variants.